France 23-27 Scotland
Wales won the 2021 Six Nations Championship after France failed to overturn a large final day point deficit for the second year in a row.
Scotland won a third Six Nations game for the second year in a row as they returned the favour from 1999 to give Wales the championship.
France started the stronger side, getting into the Scottish 22 and forcing some mistakes from the away team but chose to go for the posts when given the chance.
Superstar Romain Ntamack got the ball rolling for the championship chasers, but Scotland hit back with a score of their own.
Hooker George Turner was fantastic in the build-up to Scotland’s first try, throwing well at the lineout and then making ground with his following carry.
Winger Duhan van der Merwe finished off the move and fly-half Finn Russell converted.
Russell’s kicking helped Scotland maintain their dominance after the try with the Scot putting his opposition in some nervy situations.
France fought back with multiple victories at the breakdown and in the scrum and got back into the Scottish 22, coming away with three points once again.
Les Bleus kept their focus and forced multiple penalties from the Scottish but were unable to make the most of it against the tournament’s best defence until the 35th minute.
Winger Damian Penaud evaded van der Merwe to set fullback Brice Dulin up for the side’s first try of the game.
Ntamack nailed a difficult kick to give themselves a three-point lead for the second time in the game.
France came close to a second try after a clean break from members of their back row and it took an infringement from Scotland captain Stuart Hogg to stop the attack.
The fullback was sent to the bin as the clock turned red, but Scotland stole the French lineout to bring the half to an end with France still needing 18 points to be able to win the tournament.
France looked to get a second try as quickly as possible after a wonderful kick from Dulin but a high tackle robbed them of their chance.
Dulin started a strong counterattack and the move was finished off with a perfectly weighted kick by Penaud which he chased and grounded.
Ntamack missed the conversion but France edged closer regardless.
Finn Russell attempted an audacious drop goal from almost 50 metres out but made a meal of it.
Rory Sutherland was forced off through injury, ending his tournament, with Oli Kebble coming on to replace him.
Stuart Hogg returned to the field moments later after a messy scrum gifted Scotland a penalty.
Finn Russell came close to assisting Scotland’s second try with a smart grubber kick, but Darcy Graham could not get to the ball in time.
Finn Russell added three points for his side when the play was called back for an earlier infringement.
French hooker Camille Chat dragged Hamish Watson back 10 yards after coming on for starter Julien Marchand, helping to prevent what should have been a try for the Scottish.
Outside centre Vakatawa was penalised for coming off his feet after Chat’s efforts and a strong first lineout throw of the night for Scottish replacement Dave Cherry led to a penalty for his side.
An inventive second lineout with Cherry yielded another penalty for the Scots.
Cherry added to his impressive start when he got over the line for his side’s second of the night.
Russell’s kick put the temporarily balanced score in favour of the Scots.
France fought back to add a third try through lock Rebbadj but Ntamack’s second miss of the night put the final nail in the coffin of their championship hopes.
A high elbow to the neck of Brice Dulin spelt the end of Finn Russell’s night with the incident being a clear red.
Baptiste Serin was sent to the bin for the rest of the game after coming on for Antoine Dupont just moments before his error.
A late turnover at the breakdown gave Scotland a final chance to finish second in the tournament and after a brain fade from Dulin, were given another with the clock past 80 minutes.
Duhan van der Merwe won the game for Scotland in the 85th minute after French lock Taofifenua was denied a turnover by referee Wayne Barnes.
Glasgow Warriors fly-half Adam Hastings put the icing on the cake to cap off a brilliant night for Gregor Townsend’s men.
Both sides finish the tournament with three wins but sit on opposite sides of the final standings.
Hogg and co. will find positivity in their fourth-place finish while Fabien Galthie’s men will feel disappointed at the end of a Six Nations they could have won.
The result means Ireland finishes the championship in third and closes the curtain on an exciting opener to the 2021 tier-one international calendar.
An Focal MOTM: Finn Russell (Scotland)